My friend Stephanie brought a variation of these amazing snacks over once. I liked it, but thought it needed a bit of tweaking. I adjusted the recipe, and since then every time I've made these, my family and friends went nuts!! They're fairly simple to make, very cheap, and you can even adjust the spiciness of the peppers!!! Seriously, you can't go wrong here :)
Step 1: Get Your Ingredients
- 12-18 jalapeno peppers (if they're huge, you need less)
- 2 x 8oz cream cheese
- 2 x packets of bacon (NOT thick cut!!)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (preferably cheddar)
- 1 bunch of green onions/chives
- 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce
Step 2: Mix the Filling
First things first...
Grab your iPad and put on an episode of Bones, because the prep will take you 42 minutes...
Dice your chives a little thin, then put your cream cheese, chives, and shredded cheese in a mixing bowl and mix.
You can do this by hand if you're used to baking and have the unnatural super strength in your forearms. I don't. I used a mixer.
Just make sure it's blended well.
Step 3: Pepper Cutting Time!
You may want to wear gloves for this. If you don't, just be sure to not rub your eyes for a day or so. Jalapeño oil is unforgiving...
Slice your jalapeños length-wise. You can leave the stem on, or take it off. Let me give you the benefits of each:
Stem on = something to hold on to, looks nicer, easier to tell when it's about to get hot (see next step)
Stem off = can pop the whole stinking popper in your mouth for sheer delight
Step 4: Scoop Out the Insides...control Your Heat
Before we go further, let me clarify...
It's a common misconception that the seeds have all the heat. The membranes have just as much!
What you're going to do here is grab a table spoon and scoop out the insides. This is where you can control the amount of your heat. For spicier poppers, leave more membrane. For a more tame snack, scoop out all of the white. Save a big pile of seeds for a future step...
Step 5: Lay Your Peppers Out
Now you'll want to get your spacing to make sure you have enough pans, because after this we're going to get messy.
Lay out your jalapeño halves on the pan. If they're curvy (hubba hubba), then you'll want to alternate directions so they fit better. Something that you're looking for here is enough space so the bacon isn't touching from one popper to the next, otherwise it won't cook properly.
I put foil on my sheets on my cookie sheets to make clean up easier. But then again, I'm lazy.
Step 6: Fill Those Babies Back Up!
Now it's time to pre-heat the oven. Set it to 275 degrees - any more and the cream cheese gets hard.
And now grab your filling and start filling (the English language just fails here) your pepper halves.
Here's a little aside...
Since we're dealing with jalapeños, let's talk about mexican tradition. There's this cake with a porcelain/plastic baby inside. The tradition is whoever gets the baby has good luck for the year. I think this is completely dumb, as I don't want to be the poor fool that is lucky just because I didn't choke on the foreign object inside my dessert. BUT...that did inspire me to create a game of my own.
Here, you can take all of those seeds you set aside, but them in one of the peppers, then cover with the filling and prepare it like the rest of them (you see where I'm going with this). Then the
victim guest who gets the hot one can be the lucky person! This is even more effectual when the rest of your guests have been saying over the last few minutes "they're not even hot like I expected!"
Step 7: Cut and Wrap the Bacon
Slice the bacon in half length-wise to create 2 long strips out of each piece. Each half will wrap around a pepper. Try not to layer the bacon too thick, or it won't cook through. You can hold the bacon in place with a toothpick.
Also, when doing this step make sure not to touch other things. Uncooked pork (and poultry if using turkey bacon) has a lot of bacteria that can cross-contaminate your kitchen. So count your toothpicks first and lay them out, so your bacon-fingers aren' reaching into your toothpick box.
A reminder again - make sure the peppers aren't touching, so the bacon cooks properly.
Good news - we're almost done!
Step 8: Get Saucy!
Grab your BBQ sauce, and you're going to brush/drizzle/fling/spoon your BBQ sauce on. Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, I even just squeeze it straight out of the bottle (a lot of sauce does get wasted if you do it this way. The most efficient way I've found is to brush it on.
At this point, your oven just beeped that it's ready and Bones and Booth should have just captured the killer, and you're waiting for the fluffy wrap up at the end with Hodgins and Zack.
Do a dance, though, because you're done!
Step 9: Cook and Serve!
Put your poppers in the oven for 1 hour. Then serve to your salivating guests!
If you made more than you need, stick them in the fridge - they taste great hot or cold!
Congratulations! You're done and everyone in the house is happy!